Work With Passion, Serve With Love
There is no success in life that does not include serving others.
Ghulam Kehar describes himself as a shy guy. In elementary school he hid when he knew he was expected to speak publicly. He never imagined he’d end up the executive director of a nonprofit refugee service organization, managing staff, volunteers and logistics to serve needy people across Houston.
He was born and raised mostly in Los Angeles, with some time in Karachi, Pakistan, and has lived in Houston since 2006. After graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in economics and finance, he was on track to a career in business, a well-trodden path to success.
But in 2006 he heard a religious leader talk about charity, both the mandatory zakah and the voluntary charity that Islam encourages.
“I wanted to do something more than donating online or dropping money in a box,” he says.
He wanted to do more but didn’t know where to go or how to do it. He and some friends started an informal group which provided services to refugees.
“I had stepped into a different world,” says Ghulam. “I knew I didn’t belong anywhere else.”
Ultimately the informal group developed into an organization, Amaanah Refugee Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Houston. Amaanah serves refugees from a range of countries such as Burma, Bhutan, Iraq and the Congo.
When he gets down time, Ghulam is also an avid cricket player.
He loves his wife and two children.
When asked what he would do if he had to work an ordinary 9 to 5 job, he can’t think of an answer. He can’t imagine doing anything else.